So Steven Gerrard has signalled his intent on playing on for at least one more season beyond this one. He’s even suggested that he may have to move on somewhere else to satisfy his desire to continue as a player.
His statements are all geared to get Liverpool around the table and offer him a new deal. In his interview with the press he says as much…
‘As it stands at the moment, I’m here until the end of the season and want to make the most of it. I certainly won’t be retiring this summer. I will play beyond this season. We will have to wait and see if that’s at Liverpool or somewhere else. That’s Liverpool’s decision. If they don’t come then I will see what’s out there.’
He is putting the ball in Liverpool’s court, declaring he wants to stay and it’s up to Liverpool.
Now Liverpool wouldn’t in a million years allow their captain to leave. He’s just about to celebrate the sixteenth anniversary since his Liverpool debut. In the years since then he’s clocked up 678 appearances, scoring 176 goals for the club. The Liverpool star is a huge fan favourite and many a time his teammates count on him to get them out of trouble, even at thirty-four years of age, Gerrard is still a talismanic figure on Merseyside. We also can’t forget that he’s won a Champions League, two FA Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA Cup and a UEFA Super Cup during his Anfield days.
This season his form has been far from terrible. He has been involved in nine matches, scored three times and also picked up one assist. Maybe he hasn’t been king of the Premier League like years gone by but don’t forget the whole Liverpool squad have struggled to make the same impact they had last season.
Plus the player has a great relationship with his current club manager Brendan Rodgers. They continually look at how the captain can best influence games. Rodgers stated recently…
‘It is something we are looking at as a club. He is still in a real good physical condition, 34 years old, never needs a day’s rest, and this is a genuine superstar, a world-class player consistently for so many years.’
That isn’t a statement from a manager who doesn’t believe in his captain or is looking to replace him! Rodgers believes that Steven can play into his late thirties. It helps that Gerrard has also retired from England duty.
A lot has been made over Gerrard’s ability. People seem to either love him or hate him as a footballer. The fact is this, at one time he was one of the best central midfielders in the world. His influence on games was terrific, his range for passing was beyond decent and his ability to get goals was often vital. These days Gerrard the player is a different animal. He now tries to sit deeper and dictate the play from inside his own half. Even now he still has players marking him. He’s the English, dare I say less talented version of Andrea Pirlo.
So of course Liverpool aren’t going to ditch such an iconic club legend. He may be past his prime but to release him would be like putting down a dog just because he doesn’t run around as much as it used to. The player has been loyal and that will be rewarded, he still offers more than most in a Liverpool shirt and he’s still the fans darling.
I’d fully expect Steven Gerrard to have signed a new contract extension before the year is out. He will be a one club man!